TV Review: Snowpiercer S1E8 These Are His Revolutions


The opening of the episode is a fascinating one delivering a juxtaposition of the order the crew leadership believes in and the revolution that they face. It also emphasizes how easily everything can go off the rails, literally and figuratively. But what we really get is, the revelation that there is no god. Wilford doesn’t exist on the train and he’s a construct used to keep the train in line.

These are his revolution. 1,001 cars long.

It’s an interesting layered statement towards the beginning of the episode. Wilford has of course set the train in motion but also his decisions have lead to the current state of the train and the revolution from its passengers.

What’s interesting is how the episode pulls together decisions set up from earlier in the season. Melanie’s undoing is due to LJ whom she commuted. If she had not appeased the first class, Melanie’s undoing might not have been quite the same. It’s an interesting flow of seeing how leadership decisions can spiral and roll into something more.

The spiraling of things applies to the revolution spreading. Seeing it move from one car to the next is impressive. The coordination and communication are impressive. That goes beyond the tailies and their allies. It also applies to Melanie and those in the engine.

The episode lays things out there in an impressive way. We get the truth about Wilford. The reaction too is interesting and varied. We get the equivalent of having your reality completely shifted and the harsh truth revealed. That believing in a higher power has been a wasted exercise. Where it’s really interesting is how individuals react to the news, whether it’s to gain power or their personal impact finding out that things like an accolade from Wilford wasn’t real. But even with that, what Melanie reveals about the train and Wilford is unexpected and details that add so much. It also rocks Ruth an interesting way.

That religious theme extends to Layton. His return to the tail of the train has a Jesus iconography in its framing. His hair and robes blackened out initially. His welcoming back has a savior aspect to it.

The use of a red flag is an interesting one. The color is one that has been adopted over the years by revolutionaries and socialists and the tailies chanting “one train” has a sense of that want unity. There’s also the use of the color by Santa Ana where it meant “no surrender. no clemency.” Both of those historical uses feel appropriate for the goal of those rising up.

This is the episode where everything comes together and the action we’ve been expecting since the series begins starts to happen. It’s taken up to this point to get the pieces in place and set up the revolution. Now we get to see that revolution actually begin in all its bloody glory. As presented, it’s a logical leap and the series as a whole is better than the individual parts. It’s good to see sticking with the show has really begun to pay off.

Overall Rating: 8.35